We made it! Now we have the final 7 of my top 31 favorite horror comedies. Six of these movies were a big part of developing my love of horror, planting the seed of interest in the supernatural and fostering it with humor. The seventh movie is a newer, but equally important, addition.
7. Dead Alive aka Braindead (1992)
It’s the goriest movie ever made… but it’s hilariously gory, so ridiculously over the top, you can’t help but laugh. The dichotomy between the sensational gore and the wholesome setting (1950s New Zealand) magnifies the humor. I wish Peter Jackson would make more movies like this and stay out of the Shire. I’ll take Kung fu-fighting priests, rat monkeys, zombie babies, and the bloodiest zombie massacre over a fellowship to Mount Doom any day.
6. Tremors (1990)
When I was growing up, Tremors seemed to be on USA every other day. It was ubiquitous… much like its star, Kevin Bacon, seemed at the time. And whenever I found Tremors playing on TV, I watched it; regardless of how far into the movie it was… cause it didn’t matter. I knew it that well.
5. Beetlejuice (1988)
I think this might be my favorite Tim Burton movie. Between Burton’s style and Michael Keaton’s acting alone, it’s just so pitch perfect. Burton goes all out on creating this world of the dead and Keaton is hilarious, brilliantly manic. Then, on top of that, you’ve got the rest of the amazing cast: Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Winona Ryder, Jeffrey Jones, Catherine O’Hara, and Glenn Shadix. They’re all great.
4. Evil Dead II (1987)
For some reason, I saw Evil Dead 2 before I ever saw The Evil Dead… not sure why. But, I do know that I loved it. To me, Evil Dead 2 is the best of the trilogy. It’s funnier and a bit more polished than Evil Dead, but still pretty dark. It’s more of an equal blend of comedy and horror, while Army of Darkness is even more of screwball comedy a la the 3 Stooges in a Harryhausen creature feature. I love them all, but Evil Dead 2 is my favorite.
3. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
This movie is brilliant and exactly to my taste. Clearly, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright grew up watching and loving the same things I did. I love Shaun of the Dead, read more about how it was one of My Favorite Films of the Last Decade.
2. Young Frankenstein (1974)
So, this is definitely much more of a comedy than a horror film, but Gene Wilder’s reverence for the source material overcomes the lack of any actual horror. And the Frankenstein movies were always my favorite of the original Universal monster movies. It’s the more classical horror comedy. Do I really need to defend Young Frankenstein? It’s Mel Brooks directing a script he co-wrote with Gene Wilder, featuring a cast including Wilder, Peter Boyle, Madeline Kahn, Teri Garr, Cloris Leachman, Kenneth Mars, Gene Hackman, and Marty Feldman…
1. Ghostbusters (1984)
I don’t care what anyone says, Ghostbusters deals with horror elements. As much as I loved it for the comedy when I was a kid, there were still things that scared the shit outta me. The music alone gave me the creeps, especially Elmer Bernstein’s score. Because of Bernstein’s score, I was scared of the Tri-Star Pictures Pegasus for the longest time and of that lion statue outside New York Public Library in the first shot. The song “Magic” that plays after the containment unit blows up, also creepy as hell. And when Zuul takes Dana, with the claws pressing through the door and the hands coming out of the chair… that was terrifying to a 5-year-old. So, yeah… it’s a horror comedy.
Well, that’s it. What say you? What are some of your favorite horror comedies? Check back next week as the Halloween celebration continues with a list of family friendly Halloween movies.